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Excision…er…extraction…er…DELIVERY date

At this morning’s forty-five-minute-wait-five-minute-appointment trip to the OB, I got a tentative date for Bunlet’s removal.

Love the specificity. Remember THIS?

I know. Less than a month. What the HELL. How can that BE? But it can. It IS. I’m happy that it’s as close as possible to my actual due date (August 25th). I get really overwhelmed with Some Kind of Emotion That Involves Tears when I think about it.

Pregnancy as a Pseudo Fertile Whore has been interesting. A what? Let me explain.

Unlike many of you, I thought of myself as parenting after infertility during the seven months between Bun Bun’s birth and Bunlet’s conception. It’s because of my circumstances: Despite my innate pessimism, I knew that I had a decent shot at conceiving a second child without intervention. There was before, when I was full of meatballs and infertile, and after, when I was Presumed Fecund. But I wasn’t a Fertile Whore. To be a Fertile Whore, you have to have no concept that a positive pregnancy test might be hard to achieve, and no doubt that you’ll be bringing home a baby nine months after seeing one. That woman at the baby place I go–it’s like a community organization that has drop in hours for caregivers and kids and lots of good non-noise-making toys and a lot of air conditioning–with the (like, four year old?) quadruplets, the eighteen month old, and the six-months-pregnant belly…that’s a Fertile Whore. (Except…with quads you always have to wonder whether it was IVF, so maybe this is a really bad example, but whatevs.) I expected to experience a lot of fear and sadness and impatience and frustration, a lot of reminders of the past, when I got around to trying for a second child. And then…oops. There’s nothing like an oops to make you wonder if maybe you actually belong in the Fertile Whore category. Naturally, I resisted this. Who wants to be a Fertile Whore?

So, anyone who asked the most casual of questions got a response that involved me explaining I HAD A HARD TIME GETTING PREGNANT THE FIRST TIME AND EVEN THOUGH THE SECOND TIME IT WAS NOT EVEN PLANNED, I AM STILL SUPER SPECIAL AND NOT A FERTILE WHORE LIKE YOU PROBABLY ASSUME I AM…BUT I AM NOT. Needless to say, this is not a line of reasoning the average casual questioner has any hope of following. I got a lot of responses along the lines of, oh yeah, I hear that happens all the time–people can’t get pregnant and then when they do pregnancy like fixes their hormones or whatever and they have no problem the second time. And of course I would get all huffy and explain that it totally depends on what the issue was in the first place and blah blah blah…

I wanted to disabuse people of the ridiculous notion that this happens all the time.

But then, in the small collection of weblogs I read, unexpected second pregnancies began popping up like mushrooms after a rain. Pregnancies that ranged from as reasonable as mine to Utterly Miraculous. Some of them have already come to a heartbreaking end, which is just so shitty, but some are well advanced, some have even led to Actual Hoarding of LIVE BABIES.

I’m finding that having a little company in the world of baby hoarding has led to a shift in my feelings again. I feel less guilty, for one thing. Although still plenty guilty. I’m too painfully aware of how fucked up it is that some women who have been along for my journey are still fighting for parenthood. Others are facing tough odds in the quest for a second… BUT, in about four weeks I will be parenting after parenting after infertility. Parenting after an unplanned pregnancy that passed with very few moments of total terror. See, I said I WILL, and I’m not even adding any caveats about please let Bunlet not be stillborn…oh my god please let Bunlet not be stillborn. *Panics briefly*

So I need a new label. Parenting as a Pseudo Fertile Whore. Some of the optimism and carefree happiness of a true Fertile Whore, some of the faint scars of the true Infertile.

23 Comments Post a comment
  1. Call IF the Hotel California. You might think you are checking out, yadda. Whee! A date for Bunlet is in play. I am in awe of your fecundity regardless of the baggage. For having so many things go wrong in this family building business, I am pleased to see things going right. Say what you will about being the fertile whore. Own it, Bunny. Own it.

    July 24, 2012
  2. Trinity #

    At my first OB appointment several weeks ago, I told the NP of my IF hx, that we needed IVF to conceive our son, etc. And then I braced for what I knew was coming: that very myth that pregnancy somehow rights your reproductive wrongs. And, of course, that’s EXACTLY what she said–pregnancy “reset” my fertility. I quipped (probably a bit too defensively) that our issue was determined to be male factor, and that I doubted my pregnancy somehow gave him lots of shiny, happy sperm, HAHAHAHA. (Nervous laugh thrown in at the end to hopefully make my shitty tone sound less…shitty.) And, at this morning’s employment, she commented on how “relaxed” I seemed about this pregnancy, and that perhaps that’s exactly what brought me to the office in the first place. GAH. All said with sincerity, but also with ignorance. Blergh.

    It is a weird place, this unplanned-pregnancy-after-parenting-after-infertility (unlike you, I hate the “after”). I go from full joy to half-mast joy mixed with guilt to anger that I even permit the guilt into the picture. And it’s been weird for me, as I mentioned in a recent post, because I will openly own that I struggled with other IFers surprise pregnancies. Oh, the motherfucking irony.

    I AM NOT A FERTILE WHORE. Do you think they make shirts that say this?

    Anyway, Bunlet’s arrival is much anticipated by all of us here. 🙂

    July 24, 2012
  3. Happy scheduled birthday to Bunlet!

    I can, right off the bat, think of two of my friends who got pregnant naturally after struggling to get their first child. One was only a few months postpartum and it came as a total shock; the other was weaning her one year old, and noticed that her periods had got regular. Knowing that her hormones were still in flux as her milk supply was drying up, she TTC’ed with a vengeance and managed to succeed after a few months.

    I do think that saying pregnancy fixes your hormones is a bit of a gloss. It’s more that pregnancy shakes up your hormones, and it’s tough to say how it’s going to fall out afterwards–not to mention that your hormones won’t be ‘settled’ for several months after birth / weaning.

    That said, my hormones seemed to go back to exactly how they were after the birth of my first child, and despite recklessly foregoing contraception we had to go back to IVF for my daughter. I went ahead and had my tubes tied after weaning her, just in case, so I can’t vouch for whether the second pregnancy made me fertile or not.

    One thing that has struck me is that the common thread in this second-child-came-naturally group is that the mothers all successfully breastfed their first child, which isn’t really true for me. However, as my highly scientific sample size is precisely three women, I shall not go making any claims. Just curious as to whether this holds true for anybody else (only applicable to couples where the mother’s hormones were the initial problem, of course!).

    July 24, 2012
  4. Jen #

    Bunlet has a birthday! Hooray!

    Having a second child after conceiving the first through ART is weird no matter how that second child came to be. For me? Another cycle of IVF. And yet it still feels weird — strange that it worked on the first try (my past experience informed me that it would take at least 3 cycles and no guarantees at that…). And since we are certain our conceiving days are over now that we will have 2 children, I don’t really know how I identify. I guess we’re still infertile. But we’re out of the business of baby-making. So then what does it matter? Who the hell knows.

    I just know I want gratuitous pictures of Bunlet in a month. Make it so.

    July 24, 2012
  5. Speaking…er… writing as a daughter of a seriously fertile whore…I must agree with this common “reset” notion. People in my medical circle of friends tell me this all the time…”We knew your second would be natural”. These people should know better as the consequences of not having any sperm after cancer doesn’t seem to reset after your wife gets pregnant with IVF. But it did for me so I should shut it. So yeah, I’m on your crew. The sickest thing is I’m actually have zero problem being pregnant again. So strange. The severe guilt I had in the early days (or months) has passed. I even brag about being able to keep up with my running toddler to other fertile whore’s at the pool. Yep…I tell them, and I’ve only gained 4 pounds! Yep, that means he was 9 months old when I got pregnant like the virgin mary. They surely call me a bitch as soon as I turn around. I don’t care. I’ve decided that last time I spent so much anxiety and worry over the social impact of IVF on my life that I am embracing this and that I’m excited about this and sharing with anyone who will listen to me. I know, I’m probably the last person you’d expect to take this stance, but then again maybe not. I share my happiness with strangers over this. For reals. I’m taking this as being heard last time. Someone knew that I really couldn’t handle IVF again and that I really wanted Ari to have a brother (or sis). For the first time in my life I feel that someone heard me. And even if it were all to end tomorrow (please no!) I’d still take it as a miracle that I got to this point physically and emotionally.

    All about me, sorry, but what I’m saying is that I like your post. It makes sense to me. I’m really glad that you wrote it. You can still understand the hurt and suffering that goes along with IF and yet also be excited about your new found whorishness (is that a word?) for baby hoarding and excitement for what is yet to come on the 22nd. I remember reading about your second pregnancy and having some serious hope and I’d be willing to guess I wasn’t the only one.

    Did you teach Bun Bun “ravioli” yet?

    July 25, 2012
  6. Pseudo Fertile Whore. I like it. 🙂

    July 25, 2012
  7. Hey, baybeh, how YOU doin’? Wanna pseudocheck the sunset with me? (I know, lame pick up line, but what do you want from me, I haven’t been picked-up on in years… I forget stuff.) (that was lame-o joke about pseudo fertile whore, in case it got lost on the way).

    It’s soon. Bunlet comes soon. Wow. Totally understandable, the freakout, btw.

    You are making your own label, and that’s fine. You can finally get to open that chain and sell pseudo whore t-shirts, food hats, ma phones and other bunny products. 🙂 If it matters, to me you’re not a category, a label, a drawer with a sticker on it for easy filing. You’re Bunny. As Trinity is Trinity. And Jen is Jen. We all have a history. Things in common and things that could not be any more different. But we’re still us. Discovering who US is every day. Now I am the me that needs to shove a nipple in a tiny hungry mouth. Reinventing ourselves all the time, aren’t we?:-)

    July 25, 2012
  8. I am looking forward to the arrival of Bunlet. And yes, yes, I do remember the earlier and very specific notice about the arrival of Bun Bun.

    July 25, 2012
  9. cgd #

    wishing you so much love and luck with bunlet- I think you reference to IF in general speaks to the random-ness of all of IF and possibly even life in general. I can also feel 2 different things at the same time- meaning happy that you did not have to struggle again to conceive and yet at the same time sad for my own situation- so complicated.

    July 25, 2012
  10. twangy #

    Yeah, why the question mark? Sort of vaguely the 22nd? The 22nd, but of which month? Guess! Etc.

    The tee-shirt would certainly make people stop and reconsider.

    July 25, 2012
  11. I am kind of liking Pseudo Fertile Whore…it has a nice ring to it. I can’t believe how close the bunlet is to arriving.

    Wow someone dropped the ball filling out that form. Like ‘eh maybe we will deliver your baby some 22nd day of…hell…who knows when?’

    July 25, 2012
  12. SRB #

    Oh! Pseudo Fertile Whore! I didn’t know what to call myself. I’ve already gotten an “Obviously Never Really Infertile in the First Place”, but PFW has a nicer ring to it. I find that having a few women go before me has really lessened the guilt I feel over unplanned-pregnancy-after-parenting-after-infertility. So, you know, thanks for all the heartburn and tears. I am actually feeling super chill, grateful and pretty damn deserving actually, and I’d like to thank you for helping me in that way. 🙂

    Good luck having the Bunlet on the 22ish of some yet to be determined month!

    July 25, 2012
    • SRB #

      Ugh. I said ‘actually’ twice in one sentence. EDIT MY SHIT!

      July 25, 2012
  13. Wow, that is soon!

    I suspect that anyone who has a second child “after” infertility has all kinds of conflicted emotions. I think my situation is sort of the opposite of “Pseudo Fertile Whore”…something like If You Thought You Were Infertile the First Time Now You REALLY Get To Experience It.

    Hope the rest of the pregnancy is smooth sailing. I assume you’re on maternity leave fall semester with an Aug due date?

    July 26, 2012
  14. Congrats on the impending arrival! Even if the medical folks do seem a little vague about when this might occur…
    And the randomness of the whole IF thing is one of the things that makes it so hard. I think the folks who try to tell you stories about “you just need to relax” or “pregnancy fixes your hormones” are trying to do what lots of us do with things that are randomly distributed–tell a story that makes sense of the randomness, even if it doesn’t actually fit with the facts. Doesn’t mean that these folks are any less irritating to run into in line in the grocery store, though.

    July 26, 2012
  15. Conceptionally Challenged #

    Aw, the 25th is my birthday, so I’m partial to that. And in comparison to that precision the parentheses issue from last time is almost negligible.

    July 26, 2012
  16. I see the hospital still has a problem with parentheses. Thankfully, they don’t seem to have a problem with ceasarian sections, which in this case, is exactly how you want the scales to be tipped. I’m super, completely, immensely excited about Bunlet’s arrival. I’ve got to start looking for the arrival book. eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. (sorry, I should have told you to put on your Ma phones for that).

    It’s a nagging, very uncomfortable feeling to me as well when people make assumptions about me and then start discussing them with me as if they were true. I spend a lot of time disabusing people who couldn’t care less. But I’m a little obsessive-compulsive in that way.

    I think that the pseudo fertile whore appelation could help in those conversations. I mean three little words could really swiftly shut up your interlocutor (now that I know you have 2 Ph.D.s and that one is in linguistics, I’m super self-conscious and feel the need to use BIG words like interlocutor). I think hoarding babies is fantastic, and glad that you are feeling a tiny bit less guilty about it since, you know, other women’s infertility has NOTHING to do with what’s going on in your lady parts.

    warm hugs, darling. Counting down the days with you.

    July 26, 2012
    • Interlocutor! Excellent. Very linguisticsy.

      July 26, 2012
  17. Holy crap, but you are very nearly there. Wow, Bunny. I couldn’t believe it when I read how imminent the Bunlet’s appearance on the scene is. It’s interesting how much perspective changes with situation. I suppose it comes down to resilience and, maybe, the inevitable fact that time does rub down the sharp corners of things. I’m glad you’re feeling less guilt. To be clear, I think you should feel zero guilt. But as the Queen of Guilt, I know that’s a tall order.

    July 26, 2012
  18. Pseudo Fertile Whore … awesome Bunny. Just awesome 😉 I love your posts!

    July 26, 2012
  19. nicole #

    The 22nd is my daughters bday! A very good day! Good luck.

    July 27, 2012
  20. Oh my gosh why did those people even bother giving you that form? Did it tell you anything at all? It was like “um yeah, you’re having a c-section sometime so report back here sometime and we’ll do it sometime, ok – dont be late”.
    And to all the fertile whore stuff. I know it must be hard for you to juggle all these feelings but when it comes down to it you are just one lovely bunny mummy with a couple of offspring now. There is always more than meets the eye to anyones story (legitimate fertile whores and all) and I know we all wrongly make assumptions about people all the time. It sucks. We humans are evil and judgemental pieces of shit. Try your best to remember that none of it matters, you’re awesome and it just so happens your body loves being pregnant.

    July 29, 2012
  21. Kelley #

    Oh Bunny how I know exactly how you are feeling. I have 2 IVF babies (a son and daughter 15 months apart, “severe” male factor so we decided to try for a second right away.) Then we got pregnant on our own while nursing a 8 month old (gasp!), had a miscarriage, did an FET cycle with our last 2 frozen embryos, had a miscarriage and then THE NEXT CYCLE conceived my now 4 month old son without IVF. So 2 unassisted pregnancies in 5 months after morphology and anti sperm antibodies (but again my husband hadn’t had a semen analysis in 3 years!)

    So now I am parenting a 3 1/2 year old, a 2 year old and a 4 month old (so 15 months and 22 months apart.) I am sure this makes me look like a fertile whore to everyone, but I am oh so quick to explain the backstory of 2 IVF babies and 2 losses. Imagine my surprise when a new friend of mine has 2 boys 15 months apart and almost the exact bdays as my kids. Her first was an IVF baby after trying for 3 years and her second was a surprise.

    It is a weird place to be, but I feel so lucky. I still identify with infertiles after 2 IVF and 2 FET cycles and with women who have had a loss after 2 losses myself. I don’t think that part of it will ever go away.

    August 4, 2012

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